Essay on Descartes - Meditations

Essay on Descartes - Meditations

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In the Meditations, Rene Descartes attempts to doubt everything that is possible to doubt. His uncertainty of things that existence ranges from God to himself. Then he goes on to start proving that things do exist by first proving that he exists. After he establishes himself he can go on to establish everything else in the world. Next he goes to prove that the mind is separate then the body. In order to do this he must first prove he has a mind, and then prove that bodily things exist. I do agree with Descartes that the mind is separate from the body. These are the arguments that I agree with Descartes.
     In his six Meditations, only four contain his argument about corporeal things and establishing himself as a thinking thing. Meditations three and four discuss the existence of God and the matter of true and false. Concerning Meditation three, Descartes proves God's existence and that He is not a deceiver, thereby allowing us to be sure that we are not deceived when we perceive things clearly and distinctly. The rest of the Meditations deal with him proving himself as a thinking thing and proving that the mind is separate from the body.
In Descartes’ first meditation, he goes on to prove that nothing exists. He establishes that knowledge is built upon a foundation; each piece of knowledge rests upon some other part of knowledge. Over the course of ones life, a person establishes one piece of knowledge and builds upon that. Descartes goes on to doubt every particular set of knowledge he has.
     Descartes says that the most basic set of knowledge we have is our senses. He continues that the senses give us false information. For example, when we look at the sun, we cannot tell how big it is. The same is true for dreams. Senses appear to be real in dreams, but how can one tell whether or not we are dreaming or not. So if we can never determine we are dreaming or awake then we can’t rely on our senses.
     He believes that a supreme God has created us and has the power to deceive us. If God is perfect then he cannot deceive us. So we must assume that an evil demon is the source of our deceptions. Therefore Descartes has reason to deny the validity of his senses.
     From this, Descartes assumes if there is a deceiver and he can be deceived then he must exi...


... middle of paper ...


...en he talks about the phantom limb. He says that the senses can deceive him with pain from the phantom limb. The senses can deceive him where as his imagination is of intellect and knowledge. He has also stated that he is a thinking thing while he isn’t certain of the existence of the body.
     The mind and body do interact with the body in some ways. Descartes says that the mind imagines things, you see things in your mind. These things do not just come from anywhere. You get these images from your senses. Say if one sees something with their eyes. Then turns away and closes their eyes. The image is still there.
     Descartes Meditations does clearly show the distinction of mind and body. He proves himself as a thinking thing. A thinking thing something that can only think and is not associated with corporeal things. Since he knows that one thing is clearly distinct from another, he knows that the mind is clearly distinct form the body. The wax proves this point. Thinking is essence and the body is extension. If you mutate and move your body around it is going to change shape. Essence cannot be changed or mutated in any way.

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